If you’ve ever walked around Castleton’s campus, it’s pretty apparent that the academic side is more beautiful and well-groomed, compared to the residential side. Student tours are herded past the coffee cottage and gardens, the Castleton website is full of bright, green pictures of the landscape. And then there’s the cracked pavement and drainage issue outside of Babcock.
Junior Shelbey Haskins and Senior Bryan Tirrell are part of Sociology professor Philip Lamy’s Community in American Society class. The second part of that class, Community Action Seminar, taught by anthropology professor Paul Derby, is a service learning and civic engagement class. Haskins and Tirrell, with the help of Lamy and Ann Honan, have started a project that is unofficially called, Castleton Courtyard Commons. The project is aimed at creating a social place where people could come together and spread a sense of community.
“It would be a place to hangout and bring the college and community more together,” Haskins said.
The Courtyard Commons plan would be to extend the pavers outside of Huden Dining Hall, wrapping around Haskell Hall and Adams Hall. The cow-paths would be fixed, the drainage issues would be repaired, and gardens and stone seating would be implanted to make it an aesthetically pleasing and comfortable social setting.
Ann Honan, an Advanced Placement Lab instructor and Chemical Hygiene Officer, shared the similar idea and teamed up with Lamy and his students to jointly push the project forward. She too feels that there is a lack of a focal point on the residential side of campus because of how ugly it is.
“It’s unsightly,” Honan said describing the area outside of Babcock hall.
And not only would campus look prettier, but it would attract more potential students who visit campus through tours or who come participate in summer camps.
The plan is estimated to take five years, costing roughly between $60,000 and $100,000. The funding would most likely come from the Student Government Association, administration, and grants.
“We’d like to get feedback on this project … we want to create spaces where people can come together,” Haskins said.
The group believes that the project is doable because the Coffee Cottage is a product of the civic engagement class from years ago.
The group’s next step is to figure out where and when to start. They will most likely begin with ripping up all of the cracked cement around Huden, Haskell, Adams, and Babcock, and will put in new pavers.